Trollbeads Mothers Day Gift

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It’s almost Mothers Day here in Canada, and we have a special treat designed by Trollbeads just in time!

With a minimum CAD$150 purchase we are pleased to offer this limited edition Trollbeads key chain as our gift to you.  Each key chain comes with a grey tassel, Trollbeads tag and a universal unique glass bead.  This bead may easily be removed from the chain to join your collection, and any Trollbead you choose may be added to the chain instead.

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We have a nice selection in stock, but don’t delay as they are quickly being snapped up by our collectors… To shop, drop by the gallery in the village, email us at tartooful@gmail.com, give us a ring at 604-924-0122 or shop online at Tartoofultoo online gallery.

Hope to chat with you soon!

C

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Limited Edition Blue Quartz II

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Today we’re photographing and uploading uniques into our online shop, tartoofultoo – but of course we can’t resist stopping to play a little along the way!

IMG_0048You could dive right into this colour!

IMG_0047Working through the rods, some particularly juicy violets and peacock blues caught my eye… in no time at all there was a little stack of beads that were just begging to be played together into a fresh composition.  To my surprise, the new limited edition Blue Quartz from this Summer’s Sunbeam Kit fits right in.

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IMG_0046See how great they look, framing the Amethyst at the heart of this composition?  It’s a fascinating shade of blue, that just seems to adapt to so many colour palettes.  Here a few key beads tie together the rich blues and purples of the design… Some of the uniques are essential elements, but equally so are the “Violet Petals” from last

IMG_0049Fall’s limited edition, and production beads “Aurora Flower”, “Moonlinght Bubbles” and the “Whitecap” pictured at left.  I was delighted to find silver beads with dichroic accents that beautifully enhance the overall jewelled look of the bracelet.  Their precious drops of purple, sapphire and turquoise help to make the whole thing shimmer!

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “gentle Waves”, “Unique Glass”, “Aurora Flower”, “three Flowers”, “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Shanghai Dragon”, “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Amethyst”, “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Paradise Birds”, “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Trinity”, “Unique Glass”, “Aurora Flower”, “Three in One”, “Whitecap”, “Unique Glass’.

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 9

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IMG_9431Today I played with all the purples that usually I pair with teal… and gave them a fresh, soft treatment with my gentlest greens!  This is another color combination that has been knocking about in the back of my mind for a while now, and I’m happy to finally be able to give it a try.  Isn’t it funny – when paired with teal these purples feel so much stronger… now that their companions are misty greens they feel quite subtle.

IMG_9430I think the bead that really made me want to try this combination is the “Azure Bubbles” that I have placed in the center position.  I’m very taken with the way this particular example exhibits so many shades of olive to lilac, and I’ve often felt that it wasn’t really been showcased on a bracelet with bolder colours.  Here I’ve custom built a design around it!

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IMG_9434This Azure holds other fascinating colours as well – note how its hints of icy blue are echoed in the uniques, as well as in the dichroic dots among the silvers.  The repetition of the colour gives a nice rhythm to the design.  This sort of pattern helps to give a sense of calm to the bracelet, as it seems planned and in control.

IMG_9435more dichroic shimmer…

IMG_9433This little unique is one of my favorite “Small & Beautiful” design.  I’m fascinated by the miniscule array of glittering gold suspended in its depths.  It supposedly is playing the same role on this bracelet as it usually does on my teal and purple combination… but with it’s small size and subtle colour, it’s much more noticeable now that the brighter colours have been replaced with softer ones.

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I’m so pleased to be able to pair two of my Limited Edition Jades… they have a distinctive shape and texture, so it’s satisfying to be able to use them to balance each other.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Lock” (retired) “Unique Glass”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”, “Elfbead”, “Neither Fish nor Bird, Large” (retired), “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Aurora Flowers”, “Blue Desert”, “trinity”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”, “King & Queen” (retired), “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Limited Edition Faceted Aurora”, “Unique Glass”, “Frogs” (retired), “Limited Edition Pastel Agate”, “Unique Glass”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Deep Bubbles” (retired), “Pink Prism” (retired format).

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 8

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IMG_9422Today’s bracelet is just pure, exuberant joy, isn’t it?  Impossible to feel dull in the face of such brilliant colour.  I first saw a bracelet with a similar colour combination many years ago, in the amazing collection of RT… (You may remember her necklace full of unique armadillos?)  She had a pink – to yellow combination that was anchored by a budded

IMG_9424python that had the perfect array of hues.  That design had since been taken apart, but it lives on in my memory bank of bracelet designs, and there’s no question I was channeling it when I put this together this morning.

I began the design as I always do – right in the middle.  I use a rod to build

IMG_9421the bracelet, so I have the luxury of building from the middle outwards, making sure that the design is balanced as I go.  I tend to cluster my glass, amber and stone in odd numbers, like flower arrangements, and space them with silvers that are chosen by theme and size.  I’ll use a bigger silver to fill in a bracelet that feels a bit sparse, and conversely

IMG_9423can switch out to smaller silvers if I am squeezed for space.   I also generally try to put the showstopping, extra large and dramatic pieces closer to the middle, tapering to my “small and beautifuls” as I get closer to the lock.  In today’s design, I was delighted to be able to use a recent acquisition – the cherry pink with yellow buds – so perfect on this design!

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Isn’t it interesting how context is everything with beads?  The golden yellows on today’s bracelet look caramel brown in another design!

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling double Lobster Lock” (retired format), “Unique Amber”, “Unique Amber”, “Linited Edition Van Gogh” (Netherlands World Tour), “Issey” (retired),  “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”

C.

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Crocus

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new-4Despite several days of steady snow here in Vancouver, the flowers are stubbornly pressing on towards Spring.  Earlier in the winter a cold snap sent all the leaves into retreat, but this late in the winter the plants simply won’t be discouraged.  Everywhere I look, peeking through the snow are little green shoots that are defying the weather

new5and just growing anyhow!  One of the cheeriest plants of early spring is the crocus… they come in waves of colour, with different varieties blooming at slightly different times.   Generally speaking the smaller and simpler the blossom, the more likely the plant is to bloom on the early side, and to naturalize easily in the garden.

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new3The larger blossoms are usually hybrids that bloom a little later.  (It takes longer to finish making the big flowers!)   There’s even a warm lilac one, Crocus Sativus that blooms in the Autumn, and gives us delicately delicious Saffron.  When I moved into one of my past gardens I had forgotten completely about this variety.

new6All Spring and Summer I couldn’t imagine what these lush tufts of green, swordlike leaves were, and why they didn’t set any kind of bloom.  Finally, the first Autumn the leaves died down and the cool pink blossoms burst forth, solving the mystery with panache.  The flowers truly do crash out of the earth, practically overnight.

new7A perennial grown from corms, Crocus come in all the colours of this bracelet- from creamy, buttery tones to rich yolk yellows and all sorts of purples… and they are such a delight – so I thought I’d name today’s bracelet for them to give me an excuse to chat about them here.  If you’ve missed the chance to plant ahead, pick up a pot in bloom and just pop them in the garden after they finish blooming.  They’ll come back and happily bloom for you again next year.

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Today’s bracelet is made up entirely from Tartooful current stock, and all the uniques are now individually photographed in our online shop, Tartoofultoo.  (Don’t miss our very last Glowing Pansy!).  I’ll be adding more items over the next couple of days, so do stay tuned.

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Clockwise from Clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Classic Core Unique”, “White Petals”, “Ladybug”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Mothers Bouquet”, “Amber Flowers”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Limited Edition Glowing Pansy”, “Flowers” (retired), “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Sakura”, “Limited Edition Armadillo”, “Purple Prism”.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Green and Purple Armadillo

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Like many Trollies, I have a little weakness for Armadillos… and the new Green and Purple Limited Edition hadn’t been in the gallery for five minutes when I had chosen one for my own!

purple2It’s a wonderful shade of warm, claret purple… but even better, it is cut with an acid green that washes away any trace of sweetness, leaving a bold and edgy statement.  I own one of the retired green armadillos, and love to place it on bracelets that need to be taken down a notch… perfectly sweet pink and white compositions are far

purple3more interesting with a touch of this slightly evil green.  It’s a trick I employ in the garden as well – try planting some Ladies Mantle among your roses.  It nicely covers the bare ground and unsightly, spiky stems, and when it comes into acid green bloom it acts as a complementary jolt to the roses’ pinks and reds.

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purple6The secret lies in the colour wheel – the green lies opposite the plums that it complements so well.  The eye seeks out the opposing colour for relief, so by placing two complementary colours in proximity, each one appears more intense, more vibrant and more beautiful.  It’s the science and biology of colour, but its also intuitive.  By following one’s instinctive feelings about colour, one naturally gravitates to complementary palettes, and beautiful designs happen so easily.

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clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Green and Purple Armadillo”,  “Arabian Hare”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Turquoise Prism”, “African Tortoise”, “Green and Purple Armadillo”, “Ruby Falcon”, “Deep Bubbles” (retired), “Jewel Fairy Basselet”, “Amethyst”, “Unique Amber”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Snake”, “Green and Purple Armadillo”.

Thank you to the talented Cristi for today’s bracelet!C.

 

 

 

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Final Day!

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I cannot believe that it has been an entire month.

Thirty days, and more than thirty designs later I don’t feel as though I have even begun to explore the possibilities in my modest collection, and I am overwhelmed at the potential for beautiful composition.

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It was very hard to choose one last design to showcase here on this blog… Of course, I wanted to finish on a high note, with a dramatic, unforgettable bracelet design.  More than that, however, I wanted to finish the way I had set out to begin… with a sense of adventure, playfulness and willingness to try something new.  So rather than just try for simply “beautiful”, I decided to dive in and once more explore a fresh approach to my collection.

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Throughout the challenge I had arrayed my beads into colour families while designing each bracelet.  I decided to begin this bracelet by arranging the beads instead into material types – stones, ambers, glass, and silver.

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Seen this way, totally fresh and new design ideas began to form in my head.  I chose to play with just the stones in my collection.. (Who knew I had this many?!)… and began to see what kind of composition I could create using exclusively those.

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Starting with all the stones together on the tray, I slowly edited and shifted the beads to create small clusters of complementary colour.  I remembered that fellow Challenger, LeAnn Lowe had mentioned that she was beginning to become attracted to the “Ball Of Yarn” bead that has been featured in so many of this month’s bracelets, so with a little smile to myself I placed it in the middle of the bracelet.  After all, this exercise has been all about encouraging each other, and garnering inspiration and ideas from each others’ creations.

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Working outwards from the “Ball of Yarn”, I tried to balance light and dark, facets and smooth, clear and opaque, patterned and plain, narrow and wide… I edited out the extremes of colour, opting not to work with a few favorite stones because they called too much attention to themselves.  (Sorry, lovely faceted claret coloured amber…)

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Even within such a narrow definition of only one little collection there is so much diversity… and in order to create a composition that is truly harmonious there are so many elements to consider  Fortunately, with Troll it is so simple to play, design and freely create.  Trollbeads is pure fun!

I hope that this past month has inspired some of you to actively enjoy your collections; to play, create and design beautiful compositions that make your hearts sing… A huge, heartfelt thank you to LeAnn Lowe and Melinda Deyhle who faithfully posted their designs every day on our facebook page, as well as all you other ladies who shared selected designs along the way… Melinda & LeAnn, we have a very special Troll treat headed your way to show you how much we appreciate your support!

C.

 

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 22

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We have a few amazing Trollies playing along with us in our design challenge, and I’m finding so much inspiration in their daily creations… today’s bracelet was born because after looking at one of Melinda’s recent bracelets I realized how much I like Trollbeads’ foxtail chain pattern.

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I’ve long admired the functionality of the chain – smooth, pliable, fluid, heavy and strong… it’s meant to last and never feels uncomfortable in any way.  The simple clasp method is genius, and the various clasp designs allow for personal expression, which makes it fun before we add a single bead.

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Having said all this, I hardly ever really showcase the chain in my designs, because I end up covering it up with beads I love!  I remembered that last year in Las Vegas we noticed Soren Neilsen was wearing a simple silver chain with a single white pearl on it, fitted snug against his wrist.  It was pure and powerful, and very inspiring.   It was tempting to recreate that exact bracelet, but I thought perhaps I should make it my own…

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This is the simple result of my experimentation… I twisted three of my chains together, wove a couple of pearls amongst the strands, and clasped them with one clasp to hold them in their pattern.

C.

Trollbeads News: Summer Stones

Well, this *is* exciting…

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The new Summer Stones from Trollbeads are here!  This is the series that truly has something for every collector, and every composition.  If you love the natural stones in the collection, then you are going to have to come take a peek at these…

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300x300The new stones are all cabochon, or polished smooth.  They include “Dalmatian Jasper”, “African Amethyst”, “Rhyolite”, “Red Mud Jasper”, “Zebra Jasper” and “Canadian Jade”.  This gives a truly lovely range of colours, with so many possible design applications.

Love uniques?  These definitely qualify – every single natural stone has its own personality.  Love warm, earthy tones?  Cool, minimalist & urban?  Pretty and pastel?  The designs of the Summer stones series can enhance almost any palette.  (We had a good play with the new beads and have photographed some ideas that we’ll share with you over the next couple of days…)

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On a side note, We are delighted that a Canadian stone has been included in this collection… (We’re totally stoked, eh!  Pass the maple syrup.)  Canadian Jade is in fact a different type of stone than the classic Oriental Jadeite.  The rich green IMG_1036stone that is called Canadian Jade is a close elemental relative named Nephrite.  We are particularly excited that this stone is native to our own Province of British Columbia.  Each year, BC produces around three quarters of the Canadian Jade that is sold around the world.  With vast reserves of huge deposits of this gorgeous stone, it is used for everything from massive statues of the Buddha, to intricately carved jewellery, to impressive slab doors for the Playboy mansion… and now, Trollbeads.

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Stay tuned for some fresh inspiration, and be sure to pop by the gallery soon to come see these new lovelies for yourself…

C

Trollbeads Inspiration: Two Beautiful Sisters (Dos Hermanas Hermosas)

I’ve had the pleasure over the past few months of becoming acquainted by email with a pair of Trollbead collectors from Madrid, Spain… These glamorous sisters are witty, down to earth and have an irrepressible enthusiasm and joy that comes bubbling through in every word they write – and of course in the beautiful bracelets that they create.
I’m fascinated by the method that Trollies use in assembling and curating their own personal collections.  We’ve seen so many approaches – truly every bracelet does tell the story of their owner, in one way or another.  However, Lucia and Cecilia’s easy going way of sharing beads back and forth between Sisters stands out as a very rare approach.  Not many of us are willing to part with our beads, even for a short time!  That’s true sisterly love.
In Cecilia’s own words:

“The two sisters have a similar way of choosing beads, when we see a bead we love we want to buy! The difference is that Lucía, when she likes a bead, (like bubbles azure), can not resist buying several, it happens, especially when the beads vary greatly from each other being the same.

Cecilia is more selective, waiting for the perfect.

The problem is that we always buy without thinking about how to combine them with the rest, but then this is also nice, because come unexpected combinations and different every day.

we live together, and we can not resist trying all colors together, usually we change beads (Cecilia takes ones of Lucía and Lucía some of Cecilia) to take for a few days a new bracelet more different than normal.

This, for now, is a particular advantage for Cecilia, who has fewer beads!

We love the colors of Trollbeads, the special beads … this ones have something unusual … so we still have a few silver beads … because we love to combine colors, but we love the silver too! We try to collect first editions limited or retired ones.

All silver beads are from Lucía, some were gifts, the dragon of luck, which transports magical tales of childhood … Indian elephant, symbolizing the country that Lucía has more desire to visit, India!. then have the summer butterfly limited edition, is very delicate, like Lucía, but it takes the color of amber, fire, this bead represents Lucía very well, and also has light shines, as breezes of color, singing in the crystal. Frog Prince, has also to do with the fairy tales of the past … if you kiss the frog becomes a prince 🙂 and lastly, the bead of Hong Kong, who reminds her first role in theater, a geisha!

About the colors, as we will see in the inspirations, Lucía is more forest… shelter… peace…. subtlety… depth… but do not forget the touch of fire, she is strong, with character but very understanding and malleable, vivid, sweet and fragility. She also has a special touch to the colors, and for all the artistic things… since she was a small girl, painted very well (colors) and loved making bracelets, with cloth, with beaded…  The stores of glass beads was passionate, it is normal when finding Trollbeads, inevitably fall in love with this! she also used to do key chains, magnets, animals, earrings, necklaces … everything you can imagine, a quick learner and inventing new ways. And now she is actress (emotions), she is sooo beautiful… little but strong and with lots of shine.

Cecilia need vivid colors, clear, air… is also active and alive, more restless. Needs light and summer, so that inspiration so sweet and powerful. Love the sport and be on the street! is seems extroverted but is shy, has a lot of inner life, sensitive, impulsive, we both look similar in some of this things… She likes children and medicine…”

Utterly delightful!  Thank you so much to Cecilia and Lucia for allowing us a glimpse into their very special family and shared collection…

C.